When you read the paper tomorrow and discover Ladybird was beaten, set on fire and left to die somewhere off Johnson Drive, allow me to explain myself.
Sometime last week she rang me up and asked if I would be interested in squiring her t…sorry, momentarily distracted by a hot Osmond with MS on my TV machine, and young Master Seacrest was distracted too, if I’m any judge. Anyhoo, she asked if I would be interested in squiring her to a salsa class with our co-worker, the divine Miss Brown, and La Brown’s adorable boyfriend, Button. Channeling Billy Dean and that delicate petal of a woman, Tiffany from Rock of Love, I responded “Don’t threaten me with a good time.”
Wisely, probably, she chose not to tell me we wouldn’t be dancing with each other exclusively until we’d already arrived at the venue. I was not amused. You see, I’m not much of a dancer anyway. I lack rhythm and have an innate desire not to make a spectacle of myself. When put in a situation where people are looking at me, I tend to get tongue-tied and break out in a flop-sweat. It isn’t pretty. I don’t know what I was thinking.
So the class starts and I’m thinking to myself, this 1…2…3…5…6…7 stuff isn’t that bad. Then they asked us to turn. It took me significantly longer to turn than everyone else in the class. So long, in fact, that they were well on their way into another 123567 by the time the room stopped spinning that I just gave up and caught up with the subsequent count. “So what,” I said to myself, “chicks do most of the turning. I can get by without this.”
Next they lined us up boys-facing-girls and had us begin doing the whole thing as a real dance. I latched on to Ladybird like a life preserver, but all to soon the hateful instructor shouted “Switch!” and that was when I encountered the first person of the evening to absolutely despise me. In our line were three young African (Somali, maybe? I dunno; they all had accents) ladies, all of whom had been taking classes for some time and all of whom were absolutely incapable of making eye contact with me. Each of them, I’m sure, loathes my clumsy feet and my apparent inability to turn anyone with whom I don’t spend half of everyday talking. But I found a special way to loathe each of them in return. Allow me to illuminate.
Chick A was the best and, as is often the way with these thing, the worst. She was the absolutely the nicest of the three. She smiled several times and unlike her compatriots, it was not at my obvious discomfort. Ah, but here’s the rub. Or the roll-on, if you will. Her deodorant had completely failed her. Some time around 2pm this afternoon by my reckoning. She was dressed so nicely in a tight brown sweater and a flared skirt. If it weren’t for the death fog rolling off her, I might have loved her a little bit. But frankly, I could barely keep count in my head while simultaneously suppressing my gag reflex. I’d forgotten I even had one. And it wasn’t just me. Ladybird was beside her and caught a couple of whiffs.
Bless her heart.
Then I danced with the divine Miss Brown. We always have a good time and this was no different, even if she does have a problem letting somebody else lead. It was fine by me, since apparently I have no idea how to lead anyway as Chick C would later tell me. We practiced several outside turns, which are a bit easier as its mostly the guy’s job to get the hell out of the way. They were so easy with Miss Brown. Well, easy-ish. Not so much with (again) Chick C. Also at this point, the lady instructor who I now know as Donna’s Friend asked her dance partner to demonstrate the outside turn to us. And my gawd was he beautiful. Latin, with that lovely light complexion, a high tight ass, bedroom eyes and the most gorgeous hair with a little curl at the forehead. Dreamy, just dreamy. They had to demonstrate several times, as I kept forgetting to look at his feet, instead fixating on his chin, hair & ass.
Then it was on to Chick B. Of my three bêtes noires, she was my next to least favorite. Again with the no eye contact. And she was rather bossy, which I get because hey, she’s been doing this at least 4 weeks longer than I have. But she was ever so slightly bitchy and not in a fun way. She did teach me what to do after the turn, i.e. how the count works and where she would be and what I should be doing and for that I’m thankful. I even half-assed learned it. If she hadn’t giggled when we switched, she might have made number one.
And now, Chick C. Ball-busting monster seems rather harsh, so I’ll just call her difficult. She had lots of ideas and a modicum of skill and she wasn’t afraid to make me feel like an absolute asshole for even showing up. So, y’know, good on her, I guess. I couldn’t turn her for shit, mostly because she insisted on whirling like a goddamn dervish and ending up on the other side of the room. Of course this was all my fault. I know because she told me. Several times. And I wasn’t leading her. Again, several times. Frankly, at that point I was concentrating so hard on listening for somebody to even whisper “switch” that I would gladly have turned her in front of the #57 bus with no regrets. When the blessed call came, the rip laughed and giggled and I’ve never been happier to see the ass-end of someone in my life.
Back to Ladybird for a quick spin and then we paid and got the hell out of there, lighting up Parliaments on the street like common whores.
Now on my second Sazerac and gaining some perspective. I actually kinda-sorta enjoyed dancing, though I think I’m all about finding a class where they let you dance with the one who brung ya, at least for a class or two. Maybe one of those wedding dance classes.